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health care debate

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Paul Clapham wrote:Edit: Another thing I recall reading somewhere -- don't remember where -- is that one of the best things that could be done for small businesses in the US would be for the responsibility for employee health insurance to be taken off their backs. And I think there's something to that. I work for a US-based company and their health-care costs for Canadian employees are considerably lower than the equivalent costs for US employees. Just another reason to outsource the jobs...

This I agree with, I think it is one of the major reasons large companies go bankrupt, and small business don't grow larger. A 'fixed' system needs to take the cost off of the employer. So it goes to the health care 'consumer' either via the government and taxes, or via more direct routes like I have above. I liked the term you used when you said 'why employers have to be the primary conduit for health insurance' The employer as a conduit is a good one, but I am thinking more of a paying conduit - the individual pays, the employer acts as a negotiating partner for their employees and takes the cost out of the employee's paycheck prior to the income tax and gives it to the insurer.
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Paul Anil wrote:Interesting to see the effects of cultural/developmental differences between US and India. How do you know that what you have is a minor cold/fever/virus?

Definitely interesting. Most of the illnesses you listed are pretty much unheard of in the US. I'm vacinated against TB. The others are things people just don't get. If there was any chance of cold/virus symptoms being any of the things you listed (say I just got back from an international vacation), I'd certainly want to go to the doctor. The symptoms of many illnesses certainly start out the same. While I had known that rural areas in India have more diseases, I tend to think of the people who post here as living in cities more. And some of the things you listed, I wouldn't have thought of even then.

Paul Anil wrote:you can buy insurance just for

Interesting. Ala carte insurance. I like that idea on first read. It prevents you from having to pay for things you don't want insurance for. And declares to the insurance company they won't have to pay for it. I say on first read because I haven't spent time thinking it through yet.
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:......Now, on to the topic.  What do you think of the US health care debate?  If you aren't familiar with it, wikipedia has a nice writeup.
And for those outside the US, what works/doesn't work in your current system.

I'd suggest that people can "thoroughly" familiarize themselves with the problems in the American healthcare system, if they haven't done so already. We sometimes see sad articles about the ills of the American medical and insurance system in the news. But, those are simply not enough to know what are the problems and their severity.

To understand the problems in American healthcare, this book can be a good starting point - FWIW, the book is written by an former doctor with degrees from Stanford and Harvard, who is now a medical journalist. The book is divided into little, easy to digest sections. Mostly to the point and no fluff.

Once we know what are the problems, then we can figure out the solutions. We can decide which elements to copy from other countries systems and which to invent.
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